Techno Trends

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Bionic Eye

The FDA recently approved a prosthesis system for patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a condition in which the cells of the retina are damaged, causing impaired night vision. The approval covers a very specific population of adults who have little or no light perception in both eyes but with a history of being able to discern forms. They must also have a functional retinal inner layer.

Images from a video camera mounted on a pair of glasses are transmitted wirelessly to an array of electrodes implanted into the retina. These electrodes stimulate the retina to produce images that can be “seen” by the wearer. Participants in the clinical trials reported an increased ability to detect the direction of motion, the presence of street curbs and the ability to sort black, gray and white socks.

For information: Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., 12744 San Fernando Road, Building 3, Sylmar, CA 91342; phone: 818-833-5000; fax: 818-833-5067; email:; Web site:

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